On the first auction day to follow a rate cut since December 2001, yesterday's clearance rate rose five percentage points to 64%.
"The market has certainly benefited, from a confidence perspective, from the 0.25% cut in the interest rate this week," said Enzo Raimondo, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.
It was a big improvement on last weekend when the clearance rate fell to a more-than-three-year low of 59%, although some of the gain may have come from yesterday's stock levels being nearly 7% lower.
While many at the coalface have also attributed the gain to renewed buyer confidence following the rate-cut announcement, there is also a recognition among many that the benefits may be short-lived.
"It's still very early days and there's no telling what's to come," said buyer's advocate Chris Koren, of Morrell & Koren.
"At this stage, the rate cut won't make much of a difference at the lower end of the market, which will still be struggling but only a little less."
It took 15 bidders more than 100 bids to sort out the winner at 20/53 Powlett Street, East Melbourne, with the studio apartment selling for $387,000, an estimated 43% above its reserve.
"It just went bananas," said Biggin & Scott director Russell Cambridge. "I guess an apartment in East Melbourne that's quoted around mid-$200,000s sounds too good to be true, but that's what they were worth (in that building) and that's where the reserve was."
In South Yarra, strong competition from the get-go saw 2/32 Marne Street open on a genuine bid that was $20,000 above its $650,000 reserve. Five bidders, three of whom were reportedly buyer advocates, pushed the sale price of the 1930s two-bedroom unit to $750,000 at the Williams Batters auction.
Nearby, in Southbank, another five bidders drove the price of 2/62 Coventry Street almost 17% above its reserve, with Hocking Stuart selling the three-bedroom unit for $525,000.
There was also a surprising end to the auction of 9/14 Wahroongaa Crescent, Murrumbeena - a three-bedroom townhouse that had reportedly attracted no interest and no inquiries over the life of the campaign.
Century 21 Wilson Pride state manager Chris McKearney said two bidders turned up and the property sold under the hammer for $574,000, $14,000 above its reserve.
The top sales result reported to The Sunday Age yesterday was for 23 Irving Road, Toorak, a 1940s four-bedroom brick house that sold for $4,905,000 through RT Edgar. The auction opened at $3.9million; the property was on the market at $3.98million and five bidders participated. Director Greg Herman said the reserve was set at $3.9million.
The news was a lot tougher at a land sale out in Beaconsfield Upper, with a 3000-square-metre block at
4 Stoney Creek Road passing in on a vendor bid of $300,000 against a reserve $50,000 higher. Valuer WBP Property Group said two genuine bidders took it no higher than $265,000 at the Jim Byrne Real Estate auction.
There are 616 auctions scheduled for next weekend, nearly 20% below last year's stock level.
Source From SMH
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